By Patrick Gainor, Staff Writer
In another close game, fueled, once again, by a late fourth-quarter push, the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday 20-17 off of a game-winning field goal.
Despite the fact that they scored a field goal on their opening drive, Joe Burrow and company were stifled by the Dallas defense, led by First Team All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons and defensive end Dorance Armstrong, as they were once again held out of the end zone in the first half. Burrow was sacked six times, bringing the total times the quarterback was brought down to 12 after just two games.
The defense seemingly had no answers for the Dallas offense in the first half. Cowboys backup quarterback Cooper Rush, standing in for the injured Dak Prescott, finished the day going 19/31 for 235 yards and a touchdown. The Bengals went into halftime staring at a 17-3 deficit.
The Bengals were able to move down the field in the second half, leading to two Evan McPherson field goals, cutting the deficit to eight points. After a Dallas punt, Burrow led a grueling 83-yard drive that lasted almost nine minutes and ended in a touchdown pass to receiver Tee Higgins. After a two-point conversion pass to wide receiver Tyler Boyd, the Bengals were tied at 17-17.
After another Dallas punt with 2:20 left in the game, Cincinnati had a chance to drive down the field for a game-winning score. But a third down tackle by cornerback Trevon Diggs forced the Bengals to punt. Cooper Rush, who led a game-winning drive against Minnesota last season, then drove the Cowboys down the field, allowing Brent Maher to kick the 50-yard field goal as time ticked.
Head Coach Zac Taylor acknowledged Dallas’ “really stellar pass rush,” but says that they continue to give themselves opportunities in spite of the pressure. “Once things settle down, I know we’re going to be a really good football team,” he said to the media after the game on Sunday.
Burrow went 24/36 for 199 yards and a touchdown, though he was sacked six times for 34 yards. Higgins led all receivers with six catches for 71 yards, one of which was a game-tying touchdown. Joe Mixon rushed 19 times for 57 yards and pulled in three catches for an additional 26 yards. McPherson went a perfect 3/3 on field goals, knocking them in from 50, 46 and 43 yards.
The Bengals fall to 0-2 and remain in fourth place despite every team in the AFC North losing on Sunday. Pittsburgh currently leads the division, followed by Baltimore and then Cleveland.
The Bengals travel to New York next week to take on the Jets, who led a comeback in under two minutes to stun the Browns in Cleveland. Joe Flacco is expected to start under center, with quarterback Zach Wilson not expected to return until week four. Despite their record, Cincinnati is favored to win by 4.5 points.
Dolphins 42, Ravens 38: Everything was going right for the Ravens as they entered the fourth quarter with a 35-14 lead. However, Miami stormed back as touchdowns to receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle led a 28-3 run and an improbable win in Baltimore. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa finished the day with 469 yards and six touchdowns, tying Dan Marino for the most touchdowns thrown in a game in Dolphins’ franchise history, and the Dolphins win after being down 21 points for the first time since 2005.
Jets 31, Browns 30: Despite being down 30-17 with less than two minutes left in the game, former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco led the New York Jets to an improbable victory thanks to a long touchdown to receiver Corey Davis, an onside kick recovery and a game-winning score to hotshot rookie Garrett Wilson. According to ESPN Analytics, Cleveland had a 99.9% chance to win the game with 2:09 left in the game. In other words, it’s just another Sunday for Browns fans.
Cardinals 29, Raiders 23: Just when you thought we had enough comebacks, the Arizona Cardinals were down 20-0 at halftime amidst a routing by the Raiders offense. But, quarterback Kyler Murray led the charge as the Cardinals swarmed back with a touchdown and two-point-conversion with no time left to send the game into overtime, Despite a missed fourth-down conversion, Raiders receiver Hunter Renfrow fumbled the ball, leading cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. to recover and take it all the way back for the overtime game-winner.
Chiefs 27, Chargers 24: The AFC East division matchups have been as good as advertised so far. Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert were on point for the Chiefs and Chargers respectively, but the star of the game was undrafted rookie Jaylen Watson, who nabbed a 99-yard pick six to turn the tide for the eventual Chiefs’ victory. Watson, who worked at a Wendy’s just three years ago, said that everything after was a blur. “It all felt so surreal.”